The nice summer weather in Owatonna, MN brings people out of their homes as more activities start taking place outside such as home barbecues. Gas grills and fire pits become the norm for summer gatherings but both of these things must be handled with caution to help reduce the risk of a house fire. House fires caused by barbecues and fire pits can cause significant fire and smoke damage to your home, but by following these preventative actions, you can help reduce the risk of a house fire this summer.
Clothes dryers are a common cause of house fires and are responsible for over $84 million worth of damage annually according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The warm weather of the summer only increases the risk of a fire caused by the dryer so it is important to take special caution during the summer to help prevent the possibility of a dryer fire.
- Always clean out lint from the filter, the back of the dryer, and in the venting system.
- If your dryer uses plastic of vinyl vent houses, consider replacing them with a metal venting system.
- Only put approved and dryer safe items in the dryer.
Fire pits are a very common sight in the summer months and many people use their fire pits on an almost nightly basis. It is important for homeowners to always exercise caution when using fire pits especially when using them for social gatherings. Here are some fire pit safety tips that will reduce the risk of fire:
- Install the fire pit at least 10 feet away from structures and anything flammable.
- Make sure to place the fire pit on a solid surface in an open area, never put it underneath trees or an overhanging roof.
- Always pay attention to the fire pit and never leave it. It is wise to keep a fire extinguisher nearby and you should make sure that the fire is completely out before going inside.
The amount of grilling always increases in the summer but once again, homeowners need to use caution when grilling out. There are over 8,000 house fires each year caused by grills according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) so make sure to follow these tips to avoid grill-related fires:
- Make sure the grill is a safe distance from the house and other structures. It is not safe to grill under any kind of overhang such as in a garage, porch, breezeway, or awning.
- Inspect the gas line and hoses for cracks that could cause propane leaks by putting soapy water over the hose and fittings and looking for bubbles to form off the equipment. All leaking issues should be addressed before attempting to grill again.
- Always light a gas grill with the lid open and keep a spray water bottle or fire extinguisher handy in case the flames flare up.
As you find yourself spending more time outside this summer for barbecues and various social gatherings, make sure to follow these safety tips when it comes to using fire pits or gas grills. Fire pits and grills are potential fire risks but with a few simple steps, you can greatly reduce this risk for a much more enjoyable and worry free summer. If your home does sustain damage from a fire this summer, make sure to contact a trusted fire damage restoration professional in the Owatonna area such as ServiceMaster by Ayotte to help limit the damage and restore your home.